At a superficial level, the impasse over financial reform looks an awful lot like the early days of the health care fight, with Republicans and Democrats meeting privately to reach an elusive, perhaps impossible compromise. And we all remember how that story ended. But peer closely and the two stories are different in so many ways, politically and philosophically, that it's hard to imagine this turns into health care redux.
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Perhaps the most important distinction is the politics. Republicans just don't want to go down killing Wall Street reform legislation. That's why they've softened their tone, and that's why they say they're confident they'll ultimately be able to vote for a bill. No doubt they don't mind a bit of delay--every day spent negotiating is another day the Senate doesn't address climate change, immigration, the coming Supreme Court nomination and on and on. But they can't keep up a weeks-long ruse that they're negotiating in good faith, when in fact they aren't, like they did on health care.